Since December 14, 2016, the regional county municipalities (RCMs) and the towns and agglomerations that exercise certain powers of RCMs may delimit mining-incompatible territories in their land use and development plans.
The by-law submitted by a RCM must be comply with the Québec Government’s land use planning guideline aimed at promoting the harmonious coexistence of mining activities with other land uses.
The guideline has two aims and four expectations:
- To protect activities whose viability would be compromised by the impacts of mining activity, based on community land uses and concerns:
1.1 Identify and delimit mining-incompatible territories;
1.2 Understand and consider the community’s concerns;
1.3 Understand and consider mining rights;
- Foster the development of mineral resources by harmonizing different land uses:
2.1 Structure the introduction of sensitive uses close to mining sites.
The RCM must take the necessary steps to inform and consult all the actors concerned, including Aboriginal communities and holders of mining rights.
If the MERN finds that the by-law does not comply with the guideline, it must inform the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire (MAMOT) by means of a notice giving reasons. The MAMOT must then inform the RCM, and may ask it to submit a replacement by-law.
Where the by-law contains an amendment to the plan that would delimit a mining-incompatible territory and is found to comply with the guideline and with other Government guidelines, the MAMOT issues a notice of compliance to the RCM.
Withdrawal of mining activity from the mining-incompatible territory takes effect on the day on which it is published on the MERN’s map of mining titles, available online via GESTIM. Withdrawal prevents any new mine exploration right from being granted for mineral substances forming part of the domain of the State.
The creation of mining-incompatible territories in collaboration with the RCMs and other regional actors is intended to promote transparency and citizen participation, which is a major guideline of the Strategic Vision for Mining Development adopted by the Québec Government. It is also intended to ensure sustainable land management and to support community dynamism, both of which are objectives of the MERN’s 2016-2021 Sustainable Development Action Plan.
Government Guideline – Mining Activity (in French only)